Dealing with unsuccessful candidates — without damaging your brand

  • DO reply to every candidate who expressed their interest in a position including those who seem not to fit, for whatever reason.
  • You could write it by following these steps:
  • Acknowledge and appreciate the person’s time and interest in applying for a certain job at your company.
  • Explain that the company decided on someone else, in a respectful and considerate way.
  • Finish on a positive note (for example by adding “Never give up!) and wish the person success.
  • Trying to reduce the number of inappropriate applications by:
  • Making the pre-screening criteria visible and clear.
  • Making the culture clear, perhaps including self-test tools and employee interviews, to discourage applications from those who wouldn’t fit.
  • See, for example KMPG, whose self-test tool makes the culture clear.
  • Use automated assessment (CV filters and/or psychometric tests)
  • Again, if people are deselected at this stage, send an automated response to explain why
  • Use automated responses wherever possible at the various stages of application, including after interview
  • Resourcing appropriately
  • With careful planning, the number of remaining applicants should have been sufficiently reduced through the filtering process that the number of personalised communications becomes far smaller.
  • Don’t be brutally honest by telling them what the real reason for your rejection was (even though every job applicant would be interested in knowing it!). Bear in mind that you could be sued for your personal statements. Therefore, do it in a polite, diplomatic, thoughtful and professional way.
  • Don’t let candidates wait too long for a reply. As mentioned earlier, explain the timescales for responding, and write a letter/email within a reasonable timeframe. Don’t make them think that they have to chase you in order to find out if there is a chance for a job interview.
  • If you think that writing rejection letters to unsuccessful job candidates is a waste of time and doesn’t make any difference, I would like to highlight the benefits that your HR Department can receive in taking the extra time to respond to candidates. Your company will be perceived as an enterprise that:
  • takes their job applicants seriously and respects their valuable time
  • works in a professional and efficient way and
  • cares about their reputation and image (offline and online).

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Karin Schroeck-Singh

Karin Schroeck-Singh

An English to #German #translator in #business + #science + #technical matters. Reliable. Accurate. Fast.

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